Saturday, March 31, 2007

Where Have All The People Gone?

No, this is not a retread of the Sixties song. It is a serious question about my territory. I am supposed to write about the people in the community and their news; interesting stuff that might be too small for a major feature but would be a shame to not get noticed. The problem is that I have not been finding people.

I thought a spring Saturday would prompt people out-of-doors to the parks and ball fields and biking or hiking but it was gray and rained early to mid-morning. So all of these missing people have prompted me to consider writing either an unstory or a missing people bulletin (not to be confused with a missing person's notice).

So I did another lap around the loop and took notes of the places where people should be found but weren't. I also found a section of the bike trail that had not yet been adopted, so I took a photo of the empty trail and the "available for adoption" sign next to the entrance. I also went over to the wetlands' boardwalk and took some photos of the emerging spring flora and some birds and the empty boardwalk.

So I am going to draft this as my pocket submission that I can alter or scrap entirely should any real material present itself before I go to work Monday morning. But I need to know I have something to ship out Monday evening when I get home and there will only be time for a final read and grammar polish at that point. Hopefully, with the project being formally announced in Monday morning's paper, some tips will trickle in from readers which is the goal of the editor and the publisher.

The ideal scenario in my mind would be to get tips for two weeks out, be writing next week's column, and polishing the current piece. Notice that I said ideal because the real world of writing and publishing almost never aligns itself with the ideal. But if I don't have an operational process in mind chaos will rule the whole thing which will never be fun, and I think this is supposed to eventually be a fun thing to do. It will definitely be work but that is different from fighting it constantly; and fighting it every step of every week will be hard to consider fun.

So that's my plan and I'm sticking to it; unless a better plan comes along.


sylvia c. said...

I really liked your ideas of "missing people" and finding places where people "should" be.

Sounds like fun to me, anyway.

Enjoy the journey!


Sylvia C.

G's Cottage said...

As I have worked with it the article has undergone a morphosis and doesn't quite look like the original. I still don't know if I will draw the editor's or the publisher's ire over this; but my take is that it's out of the gate copy.

One of the changes has been including a couple of things that "popped" onto the radar too late to research for this week but I am mentioning them as future interests to see if any readers have personal experience in these issues.

Oh well, I have 2 hours to meet my deadline and I haven't a clue what my lede is.